‘Adaptation’ and ‘finance’ are the dominant themes in the draft text, titled ‘Matters relating to the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement’, released by the COP28 presidency today. (‘Global Stocktake’ refers to the exercise that is to be carried out every five years to see where the world stands with respect to each country’s promise for climate action.) 

The draft will be negotiated upon in the coming days for a final agreement that should emerge at the end of the climate conference, currently underway in Dubai. As such, it gives a broad indication of the shape of things to come.  

several ‘options’

The draft has several ‘options’, (or alternative wordings under different heads, one of which will figure in the final agreement), is heavily tilted towards ‘adaptation’ (building capabilities for coping with climate events that cannot be avoided) and ‘finance’ – both of which are important to developing countries. As many as 62 paragraphs of the 193-para text deal with adaptation (paras 50-78) and finance (79-112). 

The draft has taken due note of many key reports that have emerged in the recent months, such as the Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- which ‘synthesizes’ the four reports of the 6th Assessment cycle (IPCC AR6), released in the last one year) and the three reports of the United Nations Environment Programme (emissions gap, adaptation gap and production gap). 

The central message of these reports is that the world is way off trajectory to meeting the goal of limiting global average temperature increase to “well below 2 degrees C”, and the target of 1.5 degrees, and that the provision of finance for helping developing countries to do their bit is grossly inadequate. 

The draft notes that but for the commitments made by various countries at Paris Agreement, the world would be warmer by 3 – 3.2 degrees; and, thanks to the latest (upgraded) commitments, the world is put on a trajectory towards 2.5 - 2.9 degrees. (Notably, even “2.5 - 2.9” is disastrous, as anything above 2 degrees is bad.) 

It further notes that while low-cost solutions for mitigation (measures for limiting further warming) are available, “significant barriers remain to achieve the scale and speed of implementing these mitigation options.” 


The draft “notes with significant concern” that “most observed adaptation responses are fragmented, incremental, sector-specific and unequally distributed across regions.” Further, “significant adaptation gaps exist across sectors and regions, and will continue to grow under current levels of implementation, with the largest adaptation gaps among lower income groups.” 

Though there are separate chapters on ‘finance’, ‘technology transfer’ and ‘capacity building’, the draft deals with them also under the head ‘adaptation’, noting that it is concerned that “the current provision of climate finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building for adaptation remains highly insufficient to respond to worsening climate change impacts in developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.”  

In this context, the draft notes that the estimated costs/needs of adaptation—$215 b to $ 387 b—are now approximately 10–18 times as much as international public adaptation finance flows – a number put out by the UNEP in its recent ‘adaptation gap report’. 


Tellingly, the draft says the developed world “shall provide” financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.” Observing that developing countries need $ 5.9 trillion till 2030, the draft notes that the absence of a definition for climate finance “impacts the ability to track and assess climate finance.” It emphasizes the need for “grant-based finance,” as opposed to loans. 

The draft, however, is almost silent on ‘carbon markets’, making a passing reference to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.